Fiction Friday: “Dear Owner of This 1972 Ford Crew Cab Pickup” by Desirina Boskovich

For this week, I decided to do something a little different. Partially because Hugo voting is over, and partially because I haven’t had time to read any new shorts in a while (everything you’ve been reading the last month has been scheduled out weeks in advance). But fortunately for me and this column, author Lane Robins shared the below story on her Facebook, so I took a few moments to read it and get appropriately chilled and creeped out.

“Dear Owner of This 1972 Ford Crew Cab Pickup” by Desirina Boskovich was published in the August 2014 issue of Nightmare Magazine and you can read it in its entirety for free on their site. I’ve never read Boskovich before, and honestly, I don’t follow the horror genre all that closely, but after reading this story, I realize I should be paying more attention to this site! Click the link to read this story at Nightmare and see if you don’t agree with me!

Click here to read DEAR OWNER OF THIS 1972 FOR CREW CAB PICKUP for free

Cover Art by Reiko Murakami
Cover Art by Reiko Murakami

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Fiction Friday: “Night’s Slow Poison” by Ann Leckie

This week, I’m done posting Hugo-nominated stories from the 2014 ballot. Instead, I come with a story that I really, really wish was eligible for next year’s Hugo’s, but alas, it is not.

“Night’s Slow Poison” by Ann Leckie is set in the same world as her debut, Nebula-winning and Hugo-nominated novel, Ancillary Justice, but trust me when I say you need NO KNOWLEDGE of that book to read and enjoy this short story, which was originally published in 2012 by Electric Velocipede and reprinted in 2014 on Tor.com. Below, should you be so inclined, is the Tor.com link.

Click here to read NIGHT’S SLOW POISON for free

Illustrated by John Harris
Illustrated by John Harris

“Night’s Slow Poison” is from the same setting as Ancillary Justice, and tells a rich, claustrophobic story of a galactic voyage that forces one guardsmen to confront his uneasy family history through the lens of a passenger with his lost lover’s eyes.

 

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Friday Fiction: “The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling” by Ted Chiang

Are your Hugo ballots in? I hope so, because yesterday was the very last day and now all that’s left is waiting to see who wins what award!

In the meantime, here’s one more story from the 2014 Hugo Ballot to read, notably for those who haven’t read it yet. Technically a novelette, “The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling” by Ted Chiang was published by Subterranean Press Magazine in the Fall of 2013. Now that voting’s over, I can safely say that while this was a tight category, this story hit me and it hit me hard, so I want to make sure you get a chance to read it. All you have to do is click the link below!

Click here to read THE TRUTH OF FACT, THE TRUTH OF FEELING for free

Cover Art by Ken Laager
Cover Art by Ken Laager

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Fiction Friday: “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” by John Chu

This week brings another short story from the 2014 Hugo Ballot, so while I’m at it: if you’re registered to vote, remember July 31st is the last day to get your votes in, so don’t delay!

For those of you who aren’t voting, but are still curious about the nominees, may I present to you John Chu’s “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere.” Published by Tor.com on February 20, 2013, I have to say it’s another piece (much like A.M. Dellamonica’s “The Color Paradox”) that left me begging for more. Suffice to say, between that and the fact it’s been nominated for a Hugo, it’s definitely worth the read. 🙂 Just click the link below to go to Tor.com’s website!

Click here to read THE WATER THAT FALLS ON YOU FROM NOWHERE for free

Illustration by Christopher Silas Neal
Illustration by Christopher Silas Neal

In the near future water falls from the sky whenever someone lies (either a mist or a torrential flood depending on the intensity of the lie). This makes life difficult for Matt as he maneuvers the marriage question with his lover and how best to “come out” to his traditional Chinese parents.

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Fiction Friday: “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” by Rachel Swirsky

Today’s pick comes directly off of the 2014 Hugo Ballot, one of four nominees for “Best Short Story.” Not everyone votes for the Hugo’s, but if the fiction is free, and if it’s on the internet, I don’t see why you shouldn’t get a taste of some of the nominees, and Rachel Swirsky’s “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love,” is short, sweet, and weirdly wonderful. It packs a punch at the end, and it’s the kind of story that makes you want to read it all over again once you finish the first time, because you have a new point of view from which to read.

“If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” was originally published in the March 2013 issue of Apex Magazine (Issue 46). Below, if you’re so inclined, is the link to the story at Apex’s website.

Click here to read IF YOU WERE A DINOSAUR, MY LOVE for free

Cover art “Mistaken Identity” by Ken Wong.
Cover art “Mistaken Identity” by Ken Wong.

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Fiction Friday: “The Waiting Stars” by Aliette de Bodard

I skipped last Friday because last Friday was the 4th of July, and most Americans have bigger, better things to do than toil away at their computers looking for free fiction to read. But this week, I’m back, I want to start highlighting some stories from the 2014 Hugo Ballot. I don’t do this to steer any votes so much as I want to make sure people get a chance to read, for free, what’s been nominated. Even if you can’t vote, you should still be allowed to enjoy these pieces of fiction. So let’s get started.

“The Waiting Stars” by Aliette de Bodard is set in the same world as last year’s Hugo and Nebula-nominated novella, On a Red Station, Drifting, and this novelette has already snagged the Nebula for 2014. The universe de Bodard has created is interesting, compelling, and I have to say I enjoyed “The Waiting Stars” even more than On a Red Station, Drifting, and I enjoyed that one quite a lot. And the ending. . .  oh, this has such a good ending.

Originally published in the anthology The Other Half of the Sky, you can read this story for free on de Bodard’s site, or download it (for free) on your e-reader. Both options are available at the link below:

Click here to read THE WAITING STARS for free

starlit_small

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Fiction Friday: Doing My Homework

There will be no Fiction Friday today, no matter what the title of this posts says. Reason for this is the 4th of July holiday, and while I know that’s strictly an American holiday and nobody else gives a fudge, I know today isn’t exactly a highly-trafficked internet day, so why promote a story that’s likely to get overlooked while people (including yours truly) are gorging at the grill?

But in addition to wishing a Happy 4th to all who celebrate it, I wanted to take a moment to highlight the July/August 2014 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. I haven’t read this magazine in years, and the only reason I picked it up yesterday was because it was the issue guest-edited by C.C. Finlay. And you may still be wondering, “Okay, and….?”

It’s the issue I was rejected from. *insert sad face* You might think it I’m torturing myself by wanting to read all the stories that beat me, and you may be right. However, Finlay will be guest-editing at least two more issues of the magazine. The announcement, reading dates, and deadlines are listed here.

I’ve always wanted to get published in this magazine, and rightly or wrongly, I feel I have a better shot with Finlay at the helm than the usual suspects. Of course, I might read this latest issue of F&SF and realize that’s an insane thought, but hey: that’s why you do your homework.

I want to read this issue 1) to discover new voices and read great stories, 2) to figure out what Finlay thinks are great stories and 3) see if I get inspired. Doing my homework doesn’t mean I’m going to intentionally write a story with the editor’s tastes in mind, but it does mean that I’ll know if any of my ideas are even remotely in the ballpark of what he might publish. In other words, I wouldn’t send an fantasy story to Analog, you know?

So here’s to the July/August 2014 issue of F&SF. I hope it doesn’t suck, because if it does, I’ll be bitter. 🙂 But I really don’t think it’ll suck. I’ve read some of the authors who are listed in the Table of Contents, and I’ve been quite pleased with work in the past.

Cover by Maurizio Manzieri For "Palm Strike's Last Case"
Cover by Maurizio Manzieri For “Palm Strike’s Last Case”

Fiction Friday: The Color of Paradox by A.M. Dellamonica

So I can’t promise this will be every week, but if I have something I want to share, this is where I’ll share it. I’ll try to focus on free fiction, so that if you’re interested, you can click a link and read it for yourself.

For the inaugural Fiction Friday, I bring you “The Color of Paradox” by A.M. Dellamonica, a short story published at Tor.com. For those of you familiar with Connie Willis’ time-traveling novels, you’ll appreciate this story even more, but regardless of one little shout-out, this is a great story that demands more. So much more. I WANT MORE.

Click here to read THE COLOR OF PARADOX for free

full_colorofparadox
Illustration by Jeffrey Alan Love

“The Color of Paradox,” by A.M. Dellamonica, is a science fiction story about one of a series of time travelers sent back to the past in order to buy more time for the human race, which in the future is on the verge of extinction.

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